COVID-19 – It is first and foremost a Human Story
COVID-19 is first and foremost a human story, and its worst impacts are at the human level. That is important to acknowledge. Obviously, however, as investors, consumers, borrowers and lenders we must also consider the likely impact on markets, portfolios and the broader economy.
There have been many changes over the past month surrounding COVID-19. The way we interact, social distancing, workplace habits and many more.
Many lenders have made changes to their processes and policies. Each institution making the changes that best suit their risk as well as technological systems. But always with the focus or philosophy of responsible lending.
The most significant change concerns verification of ID, interview processes and income verification. Under the updated policies video conferencing, digitally signing documents and the latest payslip or other relevant document must be no more than 14 days old or one month old for monthly pay cycles, at the time of application.
There are questions around how brokers interact with customers; does it need to be face-to-face or can it be done virtually? It’s proven now that it can be done virtually, as there is still a lot of business to be done, despite the health crisis. Technology has presented options for businesses over the last decade that have really only been gradually taken up, and this pandemic has sped up the adoption, because embracing this tech is not a ‘nice to have’ any more – it’s become a pure necessity.
In my previous newsletter I touched on the options/solutions for those clients whose circumstances have changed. All banks are doing their best to assist customers who have been directly impacted by COVID-19.
So, there are three major things that as brokers we can do in order to have a positive impact on our clients, colleagues and the wider community during these troubling times. There are three core things here for us and they are advice, support and assistance. As well governments & lenders to work with the changing economies for best outcomes for all involved.
Finally, that while the eventual duration and impact of the COVID-19 waits to be seen, what we do know is that Australians stick together. And together we need to do our part in strengthening the economy and building a bridge to the other side of this health and economic crisis. Look after yourselves and reach out if you need assistance.